NYT Correction Fanatics Unveil a Book

Who are Gerald and Deborah Strober? They’re husband and wife, authors, Upper East Side of Manhattan dwellers and fanatics of the NYT “Corrections” feature. Ready to Read Publications (the Strobers’ publishing company) has released Ripped From The Corrections Pages of The New York Times: The Blooper Anthology. They are fans of NYT and read it religiously over breakfast. Still they are miffed. Not to make an assumption about New Yorkers, but aren’t they always miffed about something? It appears the Strobers sought a correction of their own as they explained in the Forward/Acknowledgments section of their new book. They write, “We owe a personal debt of gratitude to Mr. [Bill] Keller [NYT Executive Editor] for having stiffed us when we called one Sunday morning in February, seeking a correction, namely the inclusion of our names in a front page story in which direct quotes from two of our books were lifted verbatim without attribution. That was a daring thing to do… In conclusion, we have to admit that we had a helluva good time compiling this anthology—so much so that we plan to issue Ripped from the Corrections Pages of The New York Times annually.”

Gerald explains in a subsequent email, “The corrections make for good reading and, we trust, for a good book. We point out that “the newspaper of record” has a responsibility to its readers to get it right. In that sense, Keller has failed.”

The Strobers have a Washington connection, albeit a loose one. They are authors of nine published oral biographies including those on the Dalai Lama, Billy Graham and Rudy Giulianni. Catastrophe: The Story of Bernard L. Madoff, the Man Who Swindled the World was selected by WaPo as its Business Book for May 2009.

Corrections in the book are favorites from the past 12 months. By the way, Gerald tells me, “we’re not holding our breath” for a review in NYT‘s book section.

Book description and sample corrections after the jump…

March 27, 2010, NEW YORK

An article last Saturday about Representative Gregory W. Meeks, a Queens Democrat whose spending habits have drawn the scrutiny of ethics watchdogs, misspelled, in some editions, the name of the model of leased car that he drives. It is a Lexus, not a Lexis.

May 2, 2010, T: WOMEN

An entry on the Contributors page last Sunday for Anjelica Huston,   who discussed her recherché pick in perfumes, included an incorrect  reference by Ms. Huston to one of her four beauty icons. While Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn are no longer living, as Ms. Huston noted, the other icon she cited as being deceased in not. Sophia Loren—and her beauty—live on.

May 27, 2010, NEW YORK

An article on Monday about New York City political bosses erroneously included two politicians on a list of those who wound up going to jail. Meade Esposito received a suspended sentence and Donald R. Manes killed himself in the wake of a scandal.

Description:
In a June 23, 2005, memorandum to newsroom employees, Bill Keller vowed to “set-up a newsroom-wide corrections tracking system to detect patterns of errors and take action to avoid repetition.” As is abundantly demonstrated in Ripped From The Corrections Pages of The New York Times: The Blooper Anthology, Mr. Keller’s efforts have fallen far short of the mark. The book, compiled by Deborah and Gerald Strober following their own innings with the Times, features a wide selection of bloopers culled from the thousands of corrections published by the “newspaper of record” in the 12-month period from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010. You just can’t make this stuff up.